Fogbow court observer in Honolulu just reporting today’s hearing converted the complaint into a summary judgment motion and the motion was granted, ending the case. Mike Dunford will write up a full report, which will be posted here tomorrow morning.
Update, March 9
Bob, at The Fogbow, explains:
A motion to dismiss assumes the facts pleaded in the complaint are true. In this case, Hawaii argued, even assuming everything in the complaint is true, Sunahara isn’t entitled to relief because the law does not entitle him to what he’s asking for. (Sunahara failed to allege a violation of the law.)
A motion for summary judgment allows the parties to introduce evidence. If no material fact is in dispute, then the judge can make a ruling. (If there is a dispute of a material fact, the motion is denied and there’s a trial.)
I think Hawaii was concerned that if the judge treated the motion to dismiss as a motion for summary judgment, an appellate court would say the judge was wrong (because plaintiff didn’t have adequate notice, etc.), and then they’d have to start all over. Assuming this is true, Sunahara’s attorney either agreed to process, or invited the process, so this can’t be raised on appeal.
Here are the relevant court documents, courtesy of Jack Ryan Scribd:
Court Observer’s Report by Mike Dunford
Judge Nishimura had a number of cases scheduled this morning, and was running slightly behind. The 9:15 hearing wasn’t called until almost 9:30, and it was 9:45 before the Sunahara case was called.
Gerald Kurashima appeared for the plaintiff. Jill Nagamine appeared for the defendant. Rebecca Quinn was not present today. In addition to the attorneys for the parties, there were only a couple of spectators in the courtroom. I was there, John Carroll was there, and the student who accompanied Mr. Carroll to the last hearing in the Wolf v Fuddy case was there. Dean Haskins, Miki Booth, and Duncan Sunahara were all conspicuous in their absence.